Thursday, August 12, 2010

My host brother.
Our girls camp just finished so I'm pretty happy. It was a lot of
fun, but extremely tiring. The days were basically 6am-midnight or
later. Those girls don't tire out. The sessions that I did went
really well. My work partner came to talk about breast cancer and a
couple of the girls volunteered to learn how to give themselves a
self-exam in front of the class so of course they removed their
shirts. That was humorous. But I may have seen more women without
shirts here than I have women wearing shirts. So that was normal.
Then I co-led a session on Moringa and so we made porridge and put
some moringa leaves in at the end and talked about how healthy it is
for you. Then I did a musical instrument session that was pretty
cool. We made toilet paper roll tambourines and moroccas filled with
rice. Then I let them decorate paper to wrap around them and color
them and fill them with stickers. They went crazy but it was really
cool cause at the closing ceremony they used their instruments and
sang a song. The girls that I brought all did awesome. One of mine
was voted the favorite by all the other volunteers. When I took her
home, she ran home to go bring me some eggs. They all learned a lot
throughout the camp, they learned about computers, I don't think most
of them have ever touched a computer. They learned about malaria,
HIV, health in general, instruments, they got to watch some of Planet
Earth (they saw a lighthouse in the ocean and everyone yelled out
'mosque' so that was funny), I also led a soccer session that went
really really well. They were pretty good at headers. It was also
good to see them play because one of my girls from my village team
came and she was definitely a lot better than them which is nice to
know that she has been improving from our practice in village. They
also learned about entrepreneurship, geography, a bunch of stuff so it
was pretty cool. As for logistics and stuff, it all went fairly
smoothly without any problems which was a huge relief because at
another girls camp in the country, one of the girls was sent home for
leaving the compound at night and selling herself. Yeah. It sounds
bad, but that's cause it was.

Today, to celebrate the end, some volunteers and I went to the pool up
north more towards Niger, ate hot dogs, 7-layer dip with velveeta
cheese, and American things. Tomorrow, I'll stay to take care of some
things and watch the World Cup and then head back home.

My garden is looking good. The zucchini plant is gigantic so
hopefully it produces fruit. The cucumbers and beans and radishes are
doing well. Slowly, my family is learning what to put in the compost
so that's progressing. My girls who went to the camp want to have a
girls club so I'm more than willing to do that, but it might have to
wait until school starts in September because everyone is out in the
fields. Speaking of the fields, one of my friends who was supposed to
help and be a counselor at the camp got bit by a scorpion the day
before on her foot in the field so she couldn't come. At the very
last minute, a friend's sister came and she couldn't have been better.
She was awesome with the girls, so willing to help out, and willing
to continue to help after the camp. It's so nice when you finally
find someone who is motivated and wants to help, unfortunately she
will be leaving again when school starts back up.

My next plan is to start a young doctors group and teach kids some
stuff about health. Then I'll be helping train the new volunteers
which is cool cause that means I've been here a year!!!! Time flies!
Then, I'm gonna go visit another volunteer in the south and help
organize a "Iron Chef-Benin" to see who can make the healthiest dinner
and educate them a little on nutrition. Then there are summer courses
in village that I've been asked to help with.

So things are good. I heard about all the crazy stuff with the NBA.
Hope everything else is going well.

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